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Daytona Beach, Florida Named Most Dangerous City in the U.S. for Motorcyclists

— March 9, 2022

If you plan on visiting Daytona Beach in March for Bike Week, make sure to take necessary precautions and be cautious when riding your bike.

According to a new study of U.S. fatal motorcycle accident statistics, Daytona Beach, Florida is the most dangerous city for motorcyclists. Published by The O’Sullivan Law Firm, this study 20 years of fatal motorcycle crash statistics from the NHTSA. Daytona Beach, Florida is the worst city for motorcycle accidents with a population of at least 50,000. Florida also ranks for 17 out of the top 25 most dangerous cities for motorcyclists in the United States, according to the study. 

Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

Although Florida’s warm weather may seem great for motorcycle riding, its four-month hurricane season as well as unpredictable storm climate says otherwise. Motorcyclists are vulnerable in bad weather conditions, as they can impair a rider’s vision and make it more difficult to ride safely. Motorcyclists also lack protection which could lead to more serious and fatal injuries if an accident occurs. Here are some common causes of motorcycle accidents:

  • Dangerous Road Conditions: Bad weather, rough roads, animals, slick surfaces, and potholes are all common dangers that a motorcyclist might face on the road. 
  • Reckless Driving: Driving under the influence, distracted driving, speeding are all examples of reckless driving. Accidents are more prone to happen when another vehicle or motorcyclist is on the road acting carelessly. 
  • Lane Splitting: Although illegal in some states, including Florida, lane splitting is very common for motorcyclists who want to beat the traffic. Lane splitting is when a motorcycle drives between two lanes of cars. When lane splitting, there is less place for the motorcycle to maneuver, which could present a greater risk of an accident occurring. 
  • Head On-Collisions: A head-on collision is the worst type of accident that can happen to a motorcyclist. A head-on collision occurs when the front end of a vehicle collides with the front end of a motorcycle. 

Florida is the Hotspot for Fatal Motorcycle Crashes

U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Carson Gramley, via, public domain.
U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Carson Gramley, via, public domain.

As of 2020, Florida has the second largest number of registered motorcycles in the United States (620,777). Florida also hosts the largest motorcycle event in the nation: Daytona Beach Bike Week. Daytona Beach Bike Week is a 10-day event that hosts 500,000 people every year. With more people visiting the city, more accidents occur. In 2021, six people died involving motorcycle accidents within the 10-day period of Daytona Beach Bike Week. This has been a very common trend during bike week, as there were six Bike Week fatalities in 2020, and one back in 2019. 

Important Florida Motorcycle Laws To Know

If you are a rider in Florida, there are specific laws you must abide by. For example, all drivers must have a motorcycle endorsement through the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles and must be present on their driver’s license. Here are some other important laws all motorcyclists in Florida should know. 

Helmet Law

If you are under the age of 21, you are required by Florida Statute (316.211) to wear a helmet. When you do turn 21, however, you have the option to wear a helmet. You must be carrying at least $10,000 in medical coverage if you do not wish to wear a helmet while riding. 

Daytime Headlights Law

All motorcycle riders in Florida are required to use a headlight during the day according to Florida Statute (316.405). Failure to comply with this law could be considered negligence if the driver is in violation near an accident. 

Eye Protection Requirement

Under Florida Statute (316.405), all riders must have proper eye-protective devices while operating a motorcycle. Some common eye-protective gear includes goggles or face shields. 

Insurance Requirements

According to FLHSMV, insurance is not required to register a motorcycle, however, the owner or operator of the motorcycle will be financially responsible for any bodily injuries and/or property damage done to others after a crash. 

Where Do Most Motorcycle Accidents Happen?

Some locations present a greater threat to motorcyclists than they would regular motor vehicles. One of the most common locations fatal motorcycle accidents occur is at an intersection, as almost half of all motorcycle accidents occur at a traffic intersection. Many causes of intersection accidents include:

  • Running a red light
  • Speeding
  • Distracted or reckless driving
  • Poor weather conditions
  • Failing to yield while making a turn

As a motorcycle rider, it is important to always stay alert to  keep yourself safe as well as other vehicles on the road. 

If you plan on visiting Daytona Beach in March for Bike Week, make sure to take necessary precautions and be cautious when riding your bike. Motorcycle accidents make up 42% of all fatal accidents in Daytona Beach, so stay safe out there!

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